The marketing vp guide


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A marketing automation and lead management system simply gets the best prospects to the right resources quickly to close the sale

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The marketing vp guide

  1. 1. business paperThe Marketing Vp’s Guide to achievingresults with Marketing automationHow to Know Your Value and Make theCustomer Connection
  2. 2. The Ability to Listen Without this level of visibility, marketing demonstrates "soft" value to the company. You know you are successful Everyone is a customer of something. We’ve all been hit with a portion of your marketing initiatives—you just don’t with promotions for irrelevant products, pitches that are know which portion. poorly timed, and empty promises. In this reality, ROI is almost impossible to prove, making The challenge for today’s marketers is to get through it a challenge to make the case to increase or even justify to customers again with fewer resources and smaller existing budgets. budgets than ever before. With effective marketing automation tools, marketing It’s a question of rebuilding relevance. can demonstrate hard value. Campaign results can be illustrated with charts and graphs that connect directly to the sales pipeline. Marketing is under the microscope: Show us Think about the messages your customers are trying to the revenue. Justify your budget. Do you have send to you. And consider how you would adapt and sharpen your approach if you heard those messages loud the right tools to do it? and clear. As a marketer, you need to make sure that a promotion Does this individual customer prefer to access service that leaves your company doesn’t appear as a promotion over the Internet, after dinner? Do our executive-level to the customer. Instead, it should appear as a helpful, customers tend to lean towards a particular product line? smart, and timely offer that provides direct value to Does this customer have expansion plans or business them. Every piece of marketing you release into your issues that would be solved by a new product they may customer and prospect base demonstrates how well you not be aware of? understand the needs and preferences of each individual By integrating highly functional marketing automation recipient. When the communication is inapplicable, too tools as part of your CRM strategy, customer needs generic, or wastes the recipient’s time, your company and preferences are assessed with depth, context, and doesn’t just lose an opportunity. It loses credibility. richness. Greater patterns and trends within the customer The customer exhaustion we all recognize is driven by and prospect base are uncovered, providing invaluable marketing that just isn’t targeted. As a customer, imagine insight into the strategies necessary in the future to stay how different you’d feel if every promotion you saw was on track and improve customer share. exactly what you needed at that moment. When customers begin to dis-engage, many marketers Lead Management: tend to try to solve the problem by doing more of what’s causing the problem. They increase communications in Making the Connection an attempt to rebuild relevance. We know that CRM’s contribution to marketing is visibility—visibility into how to approach customers and But customer re-engagement does not start by looking how to measure marketing ROI. But perhaps the most outward—it starts by looking inward. Rather than re- critical kind of visibility is that which shows how the leads assessing the delivery and positioning of your corporate your team creates transform into opportunities, and then messages, assess the distinct messages your customers into closed deals. are trying to deliver to you. Marketing value is not calculated in the number of leads What they’re telling you is priceless. If you act on it, it will you send to Sales. True value is reflected in how many of make the difference between blindly promoting to your those leads turn into revenue. Only a good lead with the customers in a way that exhausts them—or reaching out right prospect at the right time and with the right follow-up to them in a way they appreciate. and support can turn into a profitable, closed deal. Companies have long been satisfied with bringing in a The Ability to See high number of leads, reasoning that sufficient volume Today, nearly everybody inside a company collects would drive adequate sales growth. But in today’s customer data to some degree. But few have a complete competitive business environment, most realize that picture of the customer as a human being. And even simply obtaining lists of prospects is not enough. fewer are able to recognize patterns and trends and It’s time to streamline lead management—the process of segment behaviors among the customer base effectively. qualifying, managing, nurturing, and tracking leads from initial contact to closure, and beyond. The result will be CDC MarketFirst | Business Paper
  3. 3. a true reflection of marketing ROI, or a straight line drawn both teams at this initial stage will prove invaluable,between the activities of your team and revenue. sparing considerable time and effort later, especially in the qualification process.Businesses typically allocate large budgets to customeracquisition activities, only to forfeit the value of this These initial discussions should focus on defining typicalinvestment when 80 percent of the leads fall through lead process points, including:the cracks. With improved lead management, an • Qualification questions and processorganization that captures even 5 percent of these lostleads and converts them to customers will increase • Distribution rulesrevenues substantially. • Lead scoring: specific definitions of A, B, and C-level leadsBy managing the customer as a prospect throughout thatcustomer’s lifecycle, businesses can continue to deliver • Components and duration of the sales cycleROI on the sales and marketing investment well after an • Managing atypical leads or out-of-profile leadsinitial sale. • Ownership of each stage of the processThe challenges of effective lead management—and its Most companies receive leads from multiple sourcesrewards—apply across broad sectors of business. Any resulting from both online and offline marketing activities,situation in which a customer inquiry is followed up with including trade shows, direct mail, e-marketing campaigns,contact from a sales representative, telemarketing person, newsletter subscriptions, website, referrals, print and onlineor channel partner can be improved with more effective advertising, call centers, partners, and telemarketing.lead management. Source tracking standards are established during theLead Management Process initial design process to identify the lead source by channel, media, or campaign.Step #1: Identify the Lead Source Identifying the lead source and tracking outcomes allowsSales and marketing must work together much more businesses to qualify leads more effectively and provideclosely than they have traditionally in order to implement sales with better ammunition to target prospects withan effective lead management system. more relevant information.Lead management entails qualifying A-level leads, It also enables marketing to assess the value of itsdistributing them to sales promptly, nurturing the activities and re-direct efforts and expenditures basedremaining leads through closure, and tracking the results. on response and conversion rates.For best results across an enterprise, this deceptivelysimple process must coordinate multiple business Step #: Identify Your Best Leadsprocesses at various stages: In a typical scenario, the most promising A-level leads are not qualified adequately, and as a result, they• Identify hot leads and automatically route to direct sales are not acted on by sales teams promptly. Hot leads, or channel partners representing about 10 or 0 percent of the total leads,• Actively engage the remaining leads and nurture them often aren’t distinguished from others and may languish through the pipeline to eventual sale unattended or be passed to sales too late, once the lead has cooled.• Track leads to closure and evaluate the ROI of marketing campaigns Sales teams are often frustrated at receiving too many• Integrate the external channel, including value added leads, or too few good leads. The first challenge of an resellers (VARs), other resellers, and strategic partners effective lead management system then is to accurately identify the most promising leads, get them to the• Integrate offline qualification resources such as appropriate sales representative quickly and with sufficient call centers context to give sales the confidence to act.The success of a lead management program will requireopen communication and active participation from both Lead qualification is the process by which an existingthe marketing and sales teams. or new lead is scored by engaging the prospect in a series of transactions designed to better understandTherefore it is imperative that marketing and sales meet their readiness for cross-sell or up-sell opportunities,in the initial stages to jointly review the existing corporate or the readiness of a new lead to purchase for the firstlead management processes, and develop new businessprocesses to meet the needs of both teams. Involving CDC MarketFirst | Business Paper
  4. 4. time. Defining a standard set of lead scoring/qualification Fred Krazeise, Director of Strategic Marketing atquestions with the collaboration of sales and marketing, Sharp Electronics LCD Products Group, uses a leadand ensuring that prospects answer questions accurately management system to integrate his group’s online andwill provide sales with enough confidence in the system offline marketing efforts and drive and manage moreto act promptly on leads identified as hot. This can all be leads into the sales channel.accomplished through a robust marketing automationsystem that can pass the leads either direct to the sales According to Krazeise, “We have improved our successforce or, though CRM integration, into the CRM database. with dealers and resellers significantly. In less than three weeks of using our lead management solution,Typical questions that vendors pose during the lead we generated, qualified, and distributed 96 percent ofqualification process include: the entire previous year’s leads to our top dealers and resellers. We have also achieved a 100 percent follow-up• Are you currently evaluating a solution such as ours? on those leads. Thanks to this solution, we are now• What are your reasons for evaluating a solution such experiencing an unprecedented lead conversion rate, as ours? which means more business for everyone involved.”• What is your time frame for the purchase of this solution? Step #: The Right Lead to the Right• What is your role in the purchase of this solution? Person, Right Now• Is there an approved budget for this project? Once a lead has been qualified and scored, the next step is to quickly distribute the lead to the resource mostBased on the prospect’s answers, leads may be scored likely to close it, such as internal sales representatives oras A, B, C, or D-level leads, depending on their readiness external channel partners. Automated lead distributionto purchase. ensures that leads are rapidly routed, driven by businessQualifying customers is an ongoing and complicated rules defined by the sales and marketing teams andprocess. Sales and marketing teams will want the flexibility implemented through the marketing automation define and change business rules in real time as they Leads can be routed by region, product, account, or anylearn more about their customers, prospects, and the other criteria or combination of criteria. For example, A-marketplace for product offerings. level leads may be sent to the direct sales teams, B-levelMost companies sell through multiple channels, leads may be passed to channel partners, and C-levelcomprising direct and indirect channels and partners leads may remain with the marketing team for furtherand various customer touchpoints, including call centers, nurturing and development. D-level leads might not beevents, direct marketing, print, and online ads. An online, sales leads, but influential parties in the industry such asautomated lead management system can coordinate press, analysts, or consultants.information from disparate sources, by integrating offline A critical aspect of real-time distribution within anlead generation and qualification processes. automated lead management system is the ability toOnce you have identified a prospect with a marketing easily modify routing rules to reflect territory or assignmentautomation solution, a process called progressive profiling changes. When the system and possibly an offlinecan be utilized to increase the information known about resource have identified a hot prospect, you don’t wanta lead. leads being routed to an account executive who is on vacation or sick.Progressive profiling is the process of asking one or twotarget questions per transaction. This further qualification sharing Leads with Channel partnersoccurs over time—offers, invitations, surveys—andinformation which is desired, and still not known, is asked Now that the hot leads are making it to the internal salesat each subsequent transaction. team, how about channel partners?Deeper qualification can be achieved with offline Companies that want to foster better customerqualification resources such as inside sales or a call relationships and increase sales over the customercenter. By distributing the initially qualified lead to a lifecycle are discovering the benefits of integrating andtelemarketing team, a great deal of information can be supporting the activities of indirect channel partners withgathered in a ten-minute phone call to further qualify a centralized lead management system.the lead. From there the lead can be distributed to an Whatever the source, qualified leads can be automaticallyaccount executive or VAR or sent back into the marketing distributed to VARs or other channel partners and trackedautomation solution for additional nurturing. through a lead management system that automatically alerts the call center to ensure that the lead was acted CDC MarketFirst | Business Paper
  5. 5. upon. Leads aren’t permitted to fall through the cracks Tracking leads and evaluating ROI are most effectiveor to cool before a customer contact is made. when the marketing automation and lead management system is integrated with the companys SFA or CRMCoordinating internal and external efforts in a shared suite. This way, marketing can track the lead all the waysystem makes it far easier for businesses to measure to the sale to understand how long a prospect takesresults and make adjustments quickly. Using a portal to go through each phase of their purchase process.or web interface, channel partners can check for new Additionally, deal disposition information can be sentprospects and enter status updates in real time. With directly back to marketing from the SFA system. Frommore visibility into resellers activities, companies can there, marketing will know exactly which activities droveidentify their best VARs and reward them with more the prospect in the most effective and efficient wayleads ; in addition, they can better forecast sales and through their buying process.anticipate inventory needs. The bottom line is that a marketing automation and leadLead nurturing management system should result in improved lead conversion rates and increased sales.Leads that don’t initially qualify as A- or B-level leads—thevast majority—can be actively engaged with various Carefully tracking all customer contacts in a centralizedmarketing initiatives to keep them engaged and informed, system accelerates the sales cycle, increases conversionand to keep the brand in front of them as they move rates, identifies cross-sell/up-sell opportunities, andthrough their purchase process. This keeps the sales fosters better relationships with customers across theteam focused on closing the hot prospects. The sales entire customer lifecycle—solidifying a leadership brand.and marketing team can define nurturing campaigns toshepherd C-level leads forward in their buying process. Marketing and Sales Automation:These campaigns can include webinars, white paperoffers, conference invitations, new product news, and A Necessary Partnershipfocused e-newsletters. Marketing automation systems with integrated leadThese campaigns can be designed to continue to monitor management are the ideal complement to a sales forcethe prospect’s interest level until such time as they are automation (SFA) or customer relationship managementready to purchase. (CRM) system.At a certain point, these campaigns will capture a leads Hoping to improve lead and customer managementincreased readiness to buy, and the lead management processes, many companies made significant investmentssystem will take over again from there. in CRM and SFA systems. However, these systems were not designed for sophisticated lead management andMore sophisticated lead management systems closely do not address the current challenges involved in leadtrack these nurturing activities, identify the most effective qualification and certainly not in prospect nurturing. Fewpossible combination of marketing campaigns, and build provide best-of-breed marketing automation and leadautomated systems to warm cold leads into the sales management capabilities.pipeline. Typically, the information fed into SFA systems hasn’tCombining lead management with nurturing makes been properly qualified and leads are passed to salesit possible to convert over 5 percent of cold leads. teams without scoring or context. Sales teams learnConsidering that cold leads represent over 80 percent of quickly that they cannot rely on the information provided inall leads acquired, this number can be very substantial. the system, resulting in lack of regular use. SFA systems were intended for opportunity management,Step #: Track Leads to Closure and serve well as productivity tools for the sales Evaluate ROI organization. An effective lead management system will complement SFA systems by augmenting the lead-An effective lead management system will make it qualification process to deliver better-qualified leadseasy for sales to convey the results of their efforts to to This enables marketing to make adjustmentsto campaigns in real time and, in the longer term, evaluate Once a prospect has been engaged and entered intothe effectiveness of campaigns and quantify the ROI of the lead management system, the lead can progress intocampaigns in relation to increased sales and revenues. an SFA system for ongoing opportunity management, CDC MarketFirst | Business Paper 5
  6. 6. while leads that need further nurturing remain in the leadmanagement system.When these systems are seamlessly integrated, salesand marketing gain dramatically improved visibility intothe prospect pipeline, and the corporation optimizes itsinvestment in the CRM or SFA system.RecapEffective lead management can completely change theway an enterprise approaches and manages prospectand customer communication, as well as the way itmeasures marketing success.In this paper, you’ve learned that a marketing automationand lead management system simply gets the bestprospects to the right resources quickly to close the sale.It supports multi-channel sales efforts, especially whenpaired with a sales automation system.Improved lead management closes the loop, providinglead analysis that helps to identify the most effective salesand marketing activities.In the long term, organizations will systemically improvelead conversion rates and boost revenue throughout theentire customer lifecycle.For more information, please visit or call +1 877-748-6825.Copyright © CDC Software 007. All rights reserved.The CDC Software logo and CDC MarketFirst logo are registered trademarks and/or trademarks of CDC Software.